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May 1, 2024

The physician job search package

When you’re seeking a physician for your practice, you’re obviously looking for the right education, skills and experience. But you’re also looking for the right cultural fit - someone who meshes with the team, cares well for patients and wants to settle into your community long-term. You’re not just evaluating how a physician looks on paper, even though the paper - i.e., the CV - might be what gets them through the first round. In the end, it’s the person that you hire, not the CV, which is why a physician’s priorities and interpersonal skills are also a huge part of what you should consider when assessing their job-search package.
Their CV: Evaluating hard and soft skills
A physician’s CV will, of course, be one of the most crucial materials that you evaluate when considering a candidate. It lays out their education, experience and credentials in an accessible summary. It can also reveal a surprising amount about their confidence and people skills.
"We’re going to be looking at, obviously, the educational institutions…the numbers…gpAs…what sort of research
have they done," says William A. McCann, M.D., an allergy and immunology physician based in Asheville,
North Carolina, who helps with hiring for his multi-state practice. "Then, also, have they presented at conferences? …[That] lets you know that they’re somebody who has some confidence, is good at interacting with other people."
Their references: Getting a human perspective
Similarly, a candidate’s references will reveal even more about whether they may be the right fit for your practice.
"We really rely a lot on the references," says McCann. "Talking with the program director, other professors within
the program - really getting a sense for how the individual interacts with their peers, with patients, trying to get a
sense of how they are as a clinician."
The most important question references can answer, from McCann’s perspective, is whether they themselves
would trust the physician as a provider.
Their priorities: Assessing long-term fit
The right candidate should also be a good long-term fit.  No recruiter wants to fill a position only to refill it a year
later. For this reason, you want to find a physician with clear priorities. What matters to them in a practice - and
is it in alignment with what you have to offer?
Help identify this by asking candidates what matters most to them in a job. If they don’t know their priorities,
list too many or include priorities that don’t mesh with your opportunity, they’re likely not the right fit. But if they
have clear and, importantly, concise priorities, they’re in a better position to make a long-term commitment.
"I only narrowed it down to private practice…and I had some criteria as far as it being a larger practice maybe with
multiple specialties within ophthalmology," says Hussain Elhalis, M.D., an ophthalmologist practicing in Ocala,
Florida, of his job-search priorities. "I tried not to restrict [area] because it’s hard to have too many restrictions, and you’re really narrowing…your ability to find the job that you’re looking for."
By limiting himself to only a handful of priorities, Elhalis was able to accept site visits in locations as disparate
as Iowa, Florida and California and ultimately find the practice he has stayed with for the past eight years.
Their interpersonal skills: Reading their interactions
Another thing to assess in interviews and site visits is the candidate’s interpersonal skills. This is often what
separates one technically qualified candidate from another.
"The quality of young candidates these days is phenomenal," says McCann. "It’s so uniform [that] it’s really the interpersonal skills [that stand out]: the inner drive, the inner motivation to want to succeed, to want to do well for their patients…to build a practice, but also do that in the context of a team."
Finding the total package
Your end goal in evaluating a candidate’s clinical creds, priorities and interpersonal skills is that you’ll find a
physician who adds to your practice for the long term. It’s why physician recruitment is more than finding the
most impressive CV - it truly requires an understanding of your practice, a love for your community and an acute
ability to read people. Put these unique skills of yours to use, and you’ll be well-equipped to find a physician who
offers the total package.

Read PracticeLink articles from Kate Brannen Smith

Kate Brannen Smith

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